Pyrrhic Victory: Definition and Examples for Writers

Pyrrhic victory

I’m a little bummed that I’ve missed my chance to see the first part of Mockingjay in theaters, since movies apparently only live in theaters for six weeks these days. (Anyone else remember when The Lion King was in theaters for like 9 months?) I enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy a lot, but Mockingjay was probably the weakest of the three in my opinion, so I’m curious to see how the movie compares, and if any tweaks were made to the story.

How Into the Woods Got it Wrong (And Why You Should Too)

Into the Woods

This weekend, I finally got around to seeing Into the Woods. Years ago, I saw the play the film is based on with my high school drama club on Broadway. Of course, because Into the Woods is a Disney film, there were a few things from the original musical that didn’t make it to the big screen (the fate of Rapunzel, the Baker’s Wife’s encounter with Cinderella’s Prince, etc.). Despite those changes, the overall theme of the musical remained intact.

Why the Best Characters for Your Story are Weirdos

characters who are weirdos

So much of what most of us consider to be good writing requires the writer to create a believable scene and realistic characters—or if not believable and realistic, close enough so that the reader willingly suspends their disbelief. Today’s article and corresponding writing practice is all about throwing those rules out the window by writing about weirdos.

The 4 Best Reasons to Start Journaling Today


With the start of 2015, everyone is in the midst of making and (hopefully) following through on their New Year’s resolutions. One of mine, in addition to going to the gym (which I’ve already hurt myself doing), is to resume journaling on a semi-regular basis. I used to be a religious journaler about five years ago, but I’ve moved away from the practice, mostly because I keep forgetting/watching episodes of the West Wing on Netflix. Since then, I’ve received two more blank journals as gifts, so I take this as a sign that the universe wants me to pick up the pen again.

Whose vs. Which for Inanimate Objects

whose vs. which

If I’m being honest, I’m still not totally comfortable using “whose” for inanimate objects. I’m 100% a rephraser in that respect, and will rewrite the sentence to give it a more natural flow. However, a few of you wrote asking about using “which” in place of “whose”, and I wanted to address those questions and figure out if “which” in that case was a proper use of the word.

Can You Use Whose for Inanimate Objects?

Today, Joe brought my attention to a strange quirk of the English language: we use “whose” for inanimate objects. It sounds so weird when you use the phrase like, “I placed the iPhone whose screen is broken in the bin,” but it’s technically grammatically correct.

Kinesthesia: Definition and Examples for Writers


It’s kind of fun when words that refer to literary techniques have their origin in other disciplines. Take kinesiology, for example. I had several friends in college who were kinesiology majors, which means that they studied the science of human movement. That general idea of movement is also reflected in today’s new literary word: kinesthesia.

In Medias Res: Definition and Examples for Writers

in medias res

One way to tell a story is to introduce the reader to the environment of the story. Descriptions of foliage and dirt roads, or of skyscrapers and clanging subway gears, can get the reader acclimated to the setting and can be a way to introduce the protagonist as a product of their surroundings.

But sometimes you just don’t have the patience for that. You want to hit the ground with the plot running at full speed, and once you’ve gotten the reader’s attention and piqued their curiosity, then maybe you explain what’s going on and how things got here.

Welcome to the world of in medias res.

Don’t Take Your NaNoWriMo Novel So Seriously

NaNoWriMo Novel

I was talking to a girlfriend of mine Monday night about NaNoWriMo. Her last venture into National Novel Writing Month was three years ago, and now she’s regretting starting.

Enjambment: Definition and Examples for Writers


I love new words. I always get really excited whenever I learn a new word, and I try to use it as often as is applicable in my daily life. Sometimes this is harder to do than I’d like. However, this is a writing blog, and the word I learned today is a writing word. Congratulations, you get to learn about enjambments.